Having a natural birth has been a priority for both of my pregnancies. Rylen's birth was a complete natural birth without an epidural, but I was put on pitocin to engage my labor after my water broke with no progression. We were hoping that this time around we would not have the same scenario. Pitocin is a pretty intense and hairy labor. Not something I was desiring to repeat. Well, we were definitely blessed to not have this type of labor, but we traded it, instead, for something with much more drama.
For a few days, I was having some cramping contractions that started at around 12:30p and would come every 10-15 minutes until around 3:00-4:00p in the afternoon. They were definitely not bothersome, but I knew that we were getting to the end of my pregnancy. My concern was just hoping that my water would not break again and have to have the same scenario as last time. A couple of days before my due date I started cooking some meals to freeze and had a crazy sense of urgency and some contractions that were just a little more intense. I wondered if I would make it to my due date, but Mother's Day came and went and I was still pregnant. The contractions had also subsided on Sunday and I began to think that I might go another week. Tuesday came and I was 40 weeks. Rylen and I headed to see my midwife, Karen, for my weekly appointment and to see if I was making any progress. To my surprise I was 3 cm already. Great! Of course that still could mean I could go another week. After talking to my mom, she decided that she would go ahead and come into town to help me out with the hopes that the baby would be ready within the week. As noon approached, the cramping contractions began again. As the hours went by, I noticed that they were not stopping. By 6:00p I was still having these very mild contractions every 10 minutes. At 7:40p we were to pick my mom up at the airport and I wondered how these contractions might progress. Once my mom was in the car with us heading home, we realized that I was now having these contractions about 6 minutes apart, but they were still very mild and didn't prohibit any activity. This could still go on for days or even stop. We decided it was best for us to relax and go to bed. I had a quick evening snack around 9:00p and then headed upstairs to take a shower and rest still feeling that these would subside for the evening. To my surprise. they intensified and became consistent 7 minute contractions. This is considered early 1st stage labor, so we still had a ways to go. By 1:30 am I was not able to sleep through any of the contractions and we decided it was best to call our doula, Debbie, to see what her suggestion was. The contractions were still only 7 minutes apart, but were intense enough that I needed to concentrate a bit on them. Debbie suggested I change positions and try to get some sleep. We all still thought that these were early. Once I changed my position, the contractions sped up to 4-5 minute contractions but were not as long. We decided that we wanted Debbie to go ahead and come. I also thought that maybe getting in the shower would help me to tolerate the feelings in my back a bit better. I was in the shower for one contraction and was having a slight pressure. This did not feel right. I definitely felt that I should not be feeling this yet. At this point, it was 2:30a. We called Debbie again and asked her to just meet us at the hospital. We also called Debbie McAngus to come to the house to take care of Rylen who was miraculously sleeping through all of this. We all headed downstairs to get in the car. Before we could make it outside, I had a contraction that brought me to my knees with my mom holding me. The need to push was horribly intense. Suddenly my water broke! Now we were in a sense of urgency. We quickly went out to the car as my mom pounded on the neighbors door to get someone to the house for Rylen. We needed to leave immediately. Debbie wasn't there yet for Rylen and we couldn't wait any longer. I had two more very intense contractions in the front yard before we finally got someone in our house and we could leave for the hospital. I wonder what the neighbors were thinking! We left our house at 3:00a flying down 1960 with flashers on. Luckily there was no one on the road and there were only two red lights that we had to run before we reached 1960. Once on 45, Robby's speed slowly increased as my contractions increased. I was trying my best to keep from pushing with each contraction. It took us a total of 15 minutes to reach Memorial Hermann in the Woodlands. Keep in mind, it typically takes 20 minutes from our house. We went in the door, but before I could make it into the labor and delivery area I had another intense contraction that had my water breaking once again. We went through the doors and they took me to triage. They HAD to check me before they could do anything. After getting my on a table, the nurse discovered that I was complete and the baby was -1. I was immediately wheeled down the hall with about 6-10 nurses following with every bit of delivery equipment they needed. Robby had an admitting nurse following him asking the needed questions for my admittance to the hospital. Once in the room, the official pushing began. Within 10 minutes Jace entered the world to a room full of nurses. Our midwife, Karen, didn't make it and neither did our doula Debbie. The nurses basically just caught our son with the final push. He was immediately placed on my chest with wide eyes and crying lungs. After arriving at the hospital at 3:15am, Jace Alexander was born at 3:30am. Our thought was that this labor would definitely take longer than my labor with Rylen, but the truth is that they actually took the same amount of time. Both intense in their own right. We definitely know that God was watching over us through this and we are glad that we have put our trust in him.